Compassion and resilience

Note to readers – this blog was published last week and oddly disappeared. I am re-posting for those who tried to read it and could not find it.

compassionIt has been two weeks since Moore, Oklahoma was met by a tornado unlike any experienced in current times. Images and stories were found through every venue. The pictures drew us near as we found struggled to comprehend how people could survive such destruction. The stories continue to touch our hearts as we hear of sacrifice and determination. We are still searching for the best way to help.

So why do we feel such an immediate connection with people so far away? This one of those moments when we experience our common bond as humans. Deep within our spi
rits reach beyond the limitations of miles and matter. For in the end there is little difference between the person seen on TV and the person watching. The scene could change in an instant – we could be them, we are them. In times like this we are reminded that our survival is assured only through our compassion. At the core the truth remains — “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

It takes courage to be a human being. I stand in awe of how resilient people can be, how they can absorb the impact of loss or grief, and then come back to find a way to carry on in spite of it all. I am honored to be part of a human family when I watch others rush to help strangers in need, giving what that they can to sustain the life of another. I believe we all have an instinct to be selfless, to protect our young, to confront disaster with dignity, to become hope for one another. It is not easy. It takes courage. It takes love. It takes us.Bp. Steven Charleston

Listening in silence…


The message behind the words is the voice of the heart. Rumi

It seems that I have had much to say recently on the topic of actions and intentions. At the moment it appears, we have plenty of examples in our world that warrants this type of reflection. As I read articles in other venues, I am aware that these topics are on the minds and hearts of many people.

Words are very powerful tools. They can build up or tear down. They can bind us together in security or sprinkle dust of anxiety. We find ourselves at a point in history when many public words are thrown around to create confusion and instill fear. And this is their intention…

Actions leave large impressions on those who witness them. They can encourage people to share goodness by example or carry anger and fear to their extreme. We find ourselves at a point in history when actions are rising in danger, giving permission for the spread of hostility and fear.

These words and actions appear larger than life attempting to destroy trust and community. It is the result of power and greed. We experience those with great power (a power we have bestowed) to tower over those who have little power (a position that has been forced). It is a situation that continues to grow as our culture is overwhelmed with the noisy distraction of talk.

So I ask – Where are the quiet places? The places that allow words to be used only when necessary and the heart’s intention is understood. The places where we begin with trust and build communities designed to care for one another because we believe it is the good and faithful thing to do. Where are these places?

Maybe this is the most important question now. If these quiet places are not found in obvious and welcoming forms then the noise that is dismantling our communities will continue to be successful toward its goal. Are we able to create environments where people can come to find rest from the noise and re-member the importance of trust and compassion? Can we help the great and the small not only talk with one another but work together to show another way of living and serving in this world? I am convinced it can be done and even more certain that people are longing for the invitation to act on the ‘voice of the heart’.

What do you think?! Have you found examples of this happening? Share what you think, what you know and where we can go to see these quiet places in action.

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